The Canadian finance minister stood in Europe as the week ended and said this was a wuss of a  recession. Be over soon, he said. Relatively mild. No probs.

Some people might believe the guy. Unfortunately, I know him. So, don’t. Apart from not having a shred of compassion for those this recession is chewing up, he doesn’t understand how the dominoes can quickly fall in a just-in-time integrated economy.

Like this:

Imagine you run a giant manufacturing facility which, like most, is heavily dependent on parts coming in from outside suppliers. You can’t afford to finance months or even weeks worth of inventory, so you strike a deal with suppliers to deliver the goods just when your workers need them. You even give those guys the tooling needed to turn out the components

But, despite your size, your company has serious cash flow problems and you’re behind on those supplier payments. Sadly, in a recession hitting everyone, the supplier can’t tred water without his own cash flow, and is forced to lay off workers without adequate notice after the bank calls its loan. The workers take it badly, disable some equipment, then blockade the factory.

You want your tooling back to make the parts yourself but, prevented by the workers, you must go to court to get an order allowing it. Meanwhile, in the midst of your own mounting, swirling, deepening, sickening financial crisis, you’re forced to halt production, send thousands of workers home, and edge closer to collapse.

Welcome to Chrysler Canada. Plants were closed on Friday. They’ll be closed Monday, too. And this, say people in the car parts manufacturing business, is but the start of the cascading chips.

As you’ve heard, 663,000 more people lost their jobs in the US last month, so about 6 million have vanished in this recession. Worse, 60% of them went in the last few months. The annualized job loss rate in March was over 7 million. Even worse, Canadian jobs have been decimated more, on a per capita basis. As the Chrysler experience shows, it’s possible for these numbers to leap higher wildly in a matter of weeks, if not days.

So, despite the bravado in London this week, the Obama diplomatic triumph and the brave words of Mr. Flaherty to a virtually-empty briefing room, thousands of families a week are being thrown overboard. Many people in their forties and fifties, and a majority of Boomers, will not work again. Entire sectors could vanish. Once the car parts plants shut and the presses are sold to brokers who containerize them to China, that’s it. There could well be no more Chryslers made in Brampton, Fords in St. Thomas or engines in Windsor.

This is the basis for my belief while the GDP will be growing a bit in a year, while the stock market will advance, unemployment will be as bad, or worse by the Spring of 2010, while interest rates start rising by the end of that year. Put these two likely factors together, and you can see why residential real estate will continue to decline, despite some bear rallies, and then flatline for years. Five maybe. Maybe more.

Mr. Flaherty is hoping by then his wife will be premier of Ontario.

As they say in Guangzhou, 上帝帮助我们.


#1 john on 04.03.09 at 9:11 pm


Please elaborate on how GDP can increase with the other variables noted occuring.



Oil. — Garth

#2 Da HK Kid on 04.03.09 at 9:14 pm

Yes Garth, LORD HELP US! I just laid off 400 more workers in my Donguan plant.

Grim Statistics

The official unemployment rate is 8.5% and rising sharply. However, if you start counting all the people that want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.

It reflects how unemployment feels to the average Joe on the street. U-6 is 15.6%. Both U-6 and U-3 (the so called “official” unemployment number) are poised to rise further.

Looking ahead, I expect the service sector to continue to weaken. Mall vacancy rates are rising and a huge contraction in commercial real estate is finally started. There is no driver for jobs and states in forced cutback mode are making matters far worse.

Unemployment is a lagging indicator, it is likely to continue rising until sometime in 2010.

#3 May on 04.03.09 at 9:16 pm

Hi, Garth,
I came here ten years ago from China. After ten years of hard work, my husband and I saved some money for down payment, I read your blog very often and wondering when should we buy our first home in Canada. It seems to me that Chinese people in still buying houses despite all these bad news. I am confused! Please give me some advice! Amazing, you can type Chinese!

#4 J. H. on 04.03.09 at 9:29 pm


I have been reading your stuff for about the last 20-something years ( Toronto Sun days ) plus all your books. I studied economics at university over 30 years ago and for my money you are the ” best and the brightest” I have studied over the last 30 years. Keep up the good work…I wish you were Premier of Ontario.

#5 Suzukimum on 04.03.09 at 9:31 pm

Doesn’t Flaherty look like one of the Three Stooges? How did this idiot become finance minister?

#6 dekethegeek on 04.03.09 at 9:34 pm

I’m going to the Vancouver Car Show this weekend. Perhaps historic as GM ,Chrysler or Ford will not be at next years?
The “big three” down to the “big 2” or the “not so big one”

#7 AvenWen on 04.03.09 at 9:36 pm

Thanks, Garth for another great article, and for mentioning Chinese form “God help us!” outcried in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.

#8 dekethegeek on 04.03.09 at 9:39 pm

Garth, Just a quick question on your comment about Flaherty ” …has not one bit of compassion for the people that the recession is chewing up.”
Isnt that where the whole problem lies?
Big business, avaricious politicians-cum lawyers hoping to make a name for themselves in office so they can hire out at a much larger fee.
Everyone for himself ! Screw the other guy !
And this is where it ends up.

#9 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.03.09 at 9:46 pm

“G-d help us”?

…Carefull now Garth, the atheists may come after you.

No worries from me omnipotent one, cause I’m West Coast, African Episcapalian w/ two dogs and Grouse Grind 3 or 4 times a wk. in season.

#10 Grumpydawgs on 04.03.09 at 9:51 pm

Garth, this evening on the 6PM news the usual talking heads were lined up and we were assured once again that everything was ‘full steam ahead’ that we had every reason to be optimistic, that affordability numbers were back in line, the tide had actually turned and well you get the picture, it was an hour long infomercial.

The fact is though is that for a great many Vancouverites this is thier only source of information and many of them are deep into the program. We are being swamped by all this ‘don’t worry be happy’ propaganda and it still feels like the bears are on the defensive here on the West Coast. The Government, the Advertisers, The MSM, The Vested Intrests, the Radio Stations etc have seemingle grouped together and they are pulling out a ‘full court press’, on the sales front.

The propaganda wave is so high that one would think that the West Coast is an unassailable island and that nothing really bad is going to happen here, and a majority of people here seem to believe that in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

#11 Chris L. on 04.03.09 at 9:52 pm

Oil eh? That should be great to keep the ol’ economy going huh. What a disaster. What do you think about investing in apartment buildings Garth? I’m thinking of dumping my small plex buildings and moving up in the world.

#12 bobs your uncle on 04.03.09 at 9:55 pm

It is pretty evident now that the government thinks taxpayers should bail out the banks and the hell with everything else.

I am surprised there isn’t a bloody revolution.

#13 Basil Fawlty on 04.03.09 at 10:04 pm

It is so Ironic that Flaherty and Harper were bathing in the glow of Canada’s regulated banks at the G20, when both of these men supported deregulation right up to November 2008. Typically, our Canadian “muckraker” press gives them a free pass on this obvious inconsistency, by never bringing it up.

#14 Basil Fawlty on 04.03.09 at 10:09 pm

“We are being swamped by all this ‘don’t worry be happy’ propaganda and it still feels like the bears are on the defensive here on the West Coast. The Government, the Advertisers, The MSM, The Vested Intrests, the Radio Stations etc have seemingle grouped together and they are pulling out a ‘full court press’, on the sales front.”
Election day is May 12th, happy, happy.

#15 Dan on 04.03.09 at 10:31 pm

What are we all worried about. If it gets as bad as Garth predicts there will be a lot of head cracking happening. I don’t think people in power and with the money are going to appreciate riots, crime, and their head cracked.

Why are we so hand cuffed and worried about money. I refuse to live my life worried and if the economy goes down I always wanted to crack a politician’s head in a riot. lol Just teasing Garth.

#16 Too Old Bob$ on 04.03.09 at 10:44 pm

Well here’s a bit of relief for workers in the USA.

Every 10 years, USA conduct a census of their population.
“A total 1.4 million will be employed nationwide, including about 80,000 in the Florida, Georgia and Alabama region.

Get more than just a paycheck. Besides good pay, you’ll have flexible hours, paid training, and the chance to work within your own community. You’ll earn a place in history, as well as work experience you can add to your resume.”

Timing is everything. Maybe they should do this every year.

#17 Aizlynne on 04.03.09 at 11:01 pm

The majority of media/journalists in this country are pathetic excuses as professionals.

They spend all day whining and complaining, which, last time I checked, was called opinion … not fact.

I didn’t hear one of them digging into the $212B that sell out Harper gave the big 5 banks.

The sad thing is, as Canadians, there isn’t anyone looking out for us … anyone.

#18 dd on 04.03.09 at 11:14 pm

Isn’t this the same gang that said:

1) Canada will not run a deficit
2) Recession will not happen here
3) We have a plan

#19 James Pike on 04.03.09 at 11:15 pm

The press is owned by so few that there is no independent media anymore (besides the internet). There is not much to trust anymore from anywhere? Ask yourself what the world would be like if there is so little trust to be had.

#20 jwkimb on 04.03.09 at 11:16 pm

#11 Oil can boost GDP without helping the real economy much at all…

#21 DoWhatIsayNotWhatIdo on 04.03.09 at 11:18 pm

The g20 leaders speaking of the “New World” order and here at home Garth the forward looking man is starting to blog in Madarin – is this a coincidence?

BTW, is this blog from a Canadian author about Canadian economy? Why are the bad numbers are quoted from US statistics?

Don’t us Canucks have our own statistics to talk about on a Canadian forum or is Garth a citizen of the US 53rd states?

Curious is I.

#22 The Machinery Guy on 04.03.09 at 11:43 pm

“the presses are sold to brokers who containerize them to China”

Garth, Things are worse than you thought. The market for all those used industrial machines in China, Eastern Europe and South America has dried up too. These days they sell for peanuts at industrial auctions ….. (if they sell at all) or are cut up for scrap. The disposal charges for fluids in some of these machines can exceed their actual market value.

The problem with the auto parts supplier is structural. Most plants hit break even at around 70% capacity. If car sales are off by 40% to 50%. Everyone is losing money.

The reason this is all coming to a head now is because of lag …. the time between the billing and payment received. The Detroit Three pay suppliers 90 to 120 days after the parts are delivered. So a shipment today isn’t paid for till June or July. Sounds bad? Oh, It get much worse.

Labour has to be paid every two weeks. Raw material suppliers want to be paid in 30 days. Hydro, Bell, Municipal taxes, The Government of Canada all want to be paid ASAP. So, these companies survive on any profits from previous orders and their lines of credit.

It’s the perfect storm. Little money is now coming in, production is running below break even, the Detroit Three are demanding price reductions and now the line of credit is running out..

Come April 1st, DISASTER!!!!!! They have chewed up all their line of credit and they need more money. The bank manager is freaking …… he hears the news every morning that GM and Chrysler could be going into creditor protection. The bank says no more money.

The company shuts it’s doors. Any employees who have survived all the lay-offs up to this point will be lucky to get their vacation pay. Severance pay? Get real.

Not everyone in the auto parts industry has the deep pockets. Many of these companies are family run business and once they are gone …it’s forever.

It doesn’t really matter if the government of the US and Canada provide help to the Detroit Three. For many of their suppliers in South Western Ontario, it’s already to late.

#23 Alberta Beef on 04.04.09 at 12:05 am


Thank you for your continuous market updates. Your posts have had such a huge impact on my wife and I, and I must say that your advice has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Shukria (Thank you in Punjabi)

Also, North Vancouver Citizen Jr … I can’t believe I’m giving you the time of day, but I just have to say that out of 10,000 sperm, I can’t believe you were the quickest!

#24 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 04.04.09 at 1:05 am

Rip van Winkle, asleep at the wheel. Captain of The Titanic. “. . . Relatively mild. No probs.” It wasn’t a large iceberg, only a small, teensy-weensy one which will barely scrape us.

This seems to be how the majority of politicians act nowadays — couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves and how their pockets are so nicely lined.

It is possible that the ‘hogwash’ illusion in London was staged to fool sheeple into believing that, given a few sputterings here and there, things will be just Jim Dandy next year.

So along comes next year and wouldn’t you know it — “It will be another year or so (2011) before this behemoth of an economic engine gets going again.”

2011 rolls into 2015 and beyond. Check out the following links, not only from here but across the globe.
If this is how Chinese students are being told what to expect, what of this, and other continents? — http://tinyurl.com/cppmmn

These are the latest US figures, but do not factor in those who have already given up looking. — http://tinyurl.com/culzwg

Spain, whose economy tanked about the same time as Iceland’s last year, has now seen the jobless rate rate surge to a 12-year high; the UK’s follows. — http://tinyurl.com/cfgezm and http://tinyurl.com/de5wyx

With plenty of other economies flushing down their respective toilets so quickly, has anyone noticed a pattern yet?

Why did Russia, which was almost debt-free and had paid off the former Soviet debts to the Paris Club, suddenly find itself sliding faster and faster downhill? There has to be reasons for their decline, so what are the reasons?

It is easy to understand why Harper called a snap election last year. The CPC knew well in advance this mess was coming, and wanted a majority govt. so they could rule the roost and make their own choices, but they didn’t get it.

No one took into account how bad it will be, either.

#25 Fool me once... on 04.04.09 at 1:06 am

I’m curious how much influence is put on the media by the last advertising customers using Radio, TV and the papers. It’s not a secret all sectors in the media are suffering from lack of advertising due to cut backs from their traditional customers. It’s also quite obvious that Real Estate companies, Financial organizations and banks are some of the last customers they have left. So if they have a news story and need to ask for an opinion, who are they going to go to? Hmmmm?

#26 OttawaMike on 04.04.09 at 1:07 am

You raise a very interesting point about the shipping off of decommissioned industrial equipment from Canada to be resurrected in Asia(mostly China).
This has been quietly happening for some time now. The huge paper machine lines from the closed Domtar Cornwall paper mill ended up over there and are back up and running.The paper they produce still has the old beaver water mark.

We have to get back to making things the world wants to buy from us. We have the skilled workforce and a reputation for quality and innovation but for how much longer when this type of hollowing out is occurring?

#27 Shawn on 04.04.09 at 1:10 am

Regression to the mean strikes again…

I agree with Garth’s scenario…

House prices soared, now they decline to get back to a trend line… and will overshoot to the downside no doubt.

Same on stock market…

Same on jobs, the unemployment rate went unaturally low, now it will go too high and eventually return to a sustainable level.

People complain of wealth lost from the bubble level but it was false wealth, regression to the mean required it to evaporate.

For more explanation of regession to the mean see:


#28 Dan in Victoria on 04.04.09 at 1:26 am

I feel deeply for the workers and families that are going to experience these closings and job losses,nothing new out here though in the forest industry.Logging equipment manufacturer Madill in Nanamio goes bankrupt 1911-2008,and these guys built GOOD equipment.http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/business/story.html?id=45fe711-c-c644-4509-a085-e6d3d09acb40 Or how about these fellows on Vancouver Island also.National Post Friday May 9 2008 http://www.natinalpost.com/story-printer.html?id=504547 and i quote”Men in their 40’s and 50’s with no other experience outside the mill,are learning they must find new lines of work.That could mean leaving the only place they and their families have ever lived”Or one last one, Globe and Mail June 21 2008 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/rtgam.20080621.wmackenzie0621/bnstory/national/?page=rss&id=rtgam.20080621.wmackenzie0621 and I quote again ,The United steelworkers union,which represents many of BC’s forest workers,says BC has LOST 20,000 FOREST INDUSTRY JOBS since 2001.No bailouts out here,just cold hard reality.If the links don’t work Google sawmills in BC closed.Personally, my wifes cousin worked at a sawmill. He was layed off a few years ago when they closed the mill and dismantled it, he was in his late 50’s he hasn’t worked since,a decent man, 30 plus years at the job.Goodbye.My young nephew 2 small kids,wife mortgage,etc. was also a forestry worker,job gone, off to Alberta,layed off 2 weeks ago,boss said see if you can find something at home, I don’t think were going to run this year.Mother in laws friends also in the forestry industry, twilight of their careers part time for the last few years maxed out on credit cards,house line of credits,no work they are really starting to panic.So I guess this mess is heading out East now.I wish you all luck.On another note,had to go do a small job today,at the peak of the housing market 14/2 loomex (building wire) was $178 for a 500 foot roll,today $78 for the same thing.The manager of the wholesaler said we’ll do anything we can to work with you to get your business.It sure wasn’t like that a year and a half ago. I wonder what its going to be like in another year and a half?Sorry for the long post, its been painful watching this so close to home.

#29 Glenn on 04.04.09 at 1:29 am

I distinctly recall people laughing when we discussed the topic of veterans pensions before the dot com bubble burst.

Fah! $30,000 a year? You pauper! Loser! Is that all you have to show after serving your country? Blah, blah blah.

Now, we veterans are the caboose of the overall economy. We are the last to reach the peak in good times (with a comfy 5.8% COLA for 2009) yet also the last to tip over and plunge into the inevitable downturn.

At this point, reality has now chipped away at my inherent cynicism. There is no joy in seeing such profound suffering, even with those that delighted in my suffering 10 odd years ago…or smug Canadians.

God help us, indeed.

#30 dawson on 04.04.09 at 1:34 am

Alberta when?


#31 Da HK Kid on 04.04.09 at 2:31 am

#3 May, dont be confused about the situation regarding housing right now. Notably, Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese are on tour right now picking up properties left coast Vancouver down to Cali.

There are two very distinct factors WHY they are buying RE anyhow, for most it’s a spit in the bucket compared to the cost of RE in the HKSAR or PRC. Two, as you may know they are buying for long term, meaning next generation and all the benefits associated such as nice climate, low pollution and schooling.

The Third reason quite simply is that prices are coming down and the HKD and RMB are valued by about 10-15% better than the CAD as both peg to USD so they are double dipping. Same goes for AUS but still hoping for deflation to take their ridiculous housing bubble down as its now the most unaffordable housing in the world, VAN was up there too but not for long.

One solution for the US especially in California to repair its unhealthy RE market is to stop printing credit cards and start printing green cards as the Asian population will gladly assist to finding a bottom there.

Furthermore, most who purchase homes in Vancouver will have less immigration issues and last I heard price of entry was around $300K CAD investment (RE included).

These houses are typically paid for by cash and the income earned outside of Canada such as HK at 15% max while mom and children and maybe grandma live nicely in VAN.

If you do not fall into these categories, which I believe you dont, and have been working your tails off the old school way, wait until the bottom hits and then max your investment. RENT! BE PATIENT! YOUR HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF!

Good Luck!

#32 Ancaster Renter on 04.04.09 at 3:45 am

Garth, I’m glad you commented on the debacle going on between Chrysler and Transcast Precision in Wallaceburg. I’m absolutely amazed that the corporate titan that was once Chrysler Canada has been likened to a kid in an Easter egg hunt trying to find their missing tooling just to make simple engine mounts. It reminds me of my father who used to chase his tenants for the monthly rent. Now I could always excuse my father as he ran his rentals like an amateur, but Chrysler??? C’mon!!

To me, this drives home the point that in this current financial crisis, we should continue to expect the unexpected. I don’t see how the gold bugs and inflationists can make predictions based on past events. We have entered completely uncharted economic waters. I appreciate your no nonsence approach to seeing things how they are and not how we think they should be.

#33 timbo on 04.04.09 at 4:36 am



Flaherty is in complete denial or just does not care.
Saying this is mild and that it could be worse speaks to his mindset. remember, you could be living 100 years ago ,making your own clothes and churing butter so be happy people.

Thinking back was it not Harper and company that wanted more deregulation and denied the financial problem last year. Amazing that people will not admit that their policies are flawed.

hopefully he wakes up from the snooze after hearing the train whistle blow again.

#34 timbo on 04.04.09 at 4:58 am


29% drop in commercial paper, ouch!

Again no problems in canada,banks are sound, companies are cash rich and housing will recover by summer.

there must be a heck of alot of inflation going on with all that commercial paper drying up.lol

Question for Garth. If commercial paper keeps dropping will not BOC be forced to print just to keep things fluid or am I missing something?

#35 Future Expatriate on 04.04.09 at 5:13 am

#5- He fit the suit. And the qualifications:

1. LIAR.

#36 miketheengineer on 04.04.09 at 5:55 am

Hey Garth:

After working in the parts supply business for 15 years, it doesn’t surpise me that this is happening. The big 3 for years have been “not paying” their supply base. Delaying payment, and basically using the supply base to fund development of new vehicles. (ie not pay suppliers, use the money to do something else) That is why we have sooo many different models on the road right now. Too bad they are having a hard time selling them. I guess the suppliers that have all gone broke or their workers can’t afford them at any price now. We are going to look back at the 1990 to 2010 period similar to the 1960’s where cars had fins and style. The period of 2010 to 2020 is going to be interesting. GM and Chrysler will get smaller, a lot smaller. Is Chrysler toast? That is the big question. I wish the government had some insite to just offer to buy the Windsor plant and the Brampton plant, and Oshawa assembly. Oshawa assembly (GM) has a fully developed Tech Center with experienced people. You would have a car plant (Brampton) a truck plant (Oshawa) and a Minivan Plant (Windsor). You could supply the whole Canadian market with those 3 plants. In the past those plants have won awards (Oshawa) for most efficient and best products in the world. At one time those plants made money. To have them close would be like loosing that fighter jet developed in Toronto in the 1950 (I forget the name). Can’t someone see the opportunity in all this dispair. We have the talent in Ontario to build cars. We have done this for many, many years. Buy the plants. I bet the OEM’s would love to unload them, instead of giving them billions. You could then have a future, of good cars made in the best facilities in the world.

Just my thoughts

But then again, I am just an engineer.

#37 Samantha on 04.04.09 at 6:56 am

Ah, the ring masters beckon us again!

Three ring circus. Each ring under the “big top” (tent) performs a different act. The performances are sold as one big show. The ring master struts around the rings and compels the audience to watch, and of course, to come again.

This is our three ring circus:

In this ring, we have the spectacle of real estate, the parade of elephants ridden by mortgage brokers, property flippers, agents, and buyers (who love to ride the very biggest elephants because they believe a bigger elephant is better and makes them look like a more successful part of the act).

Over in the next ring, witness the economy and the jugglers who juggle the stock market, ponzi schemes, employment, growth, sustainability, and let us not forget, the end of this act: those who juggle debt repayment.

The last ring contains a very large act. Behold, the banks! These magicians will confuse and astound you with derivatives, interest rates, shifting policies and contractual fine print. This act makes the most money of all the acts, in good times and in bad. Some of these magicians live in the “square mile”, a mysterious place where they have chosen to gather, learn new tricks and make their act bigger, stronger and more mysterious.

Here at last is the governing ring master who moves within the three rings. He assures the audience that the elephants won’t run amok and crush anyone, the jugglers won’t drop anything, and not to be afraid of the magicians as they are really quite harmless. If a catastrophe occurs, the ring master will simply create the cash to solve the problem, or appear to solve the problem, temporarily at least (and sometimes working with other ring masters from other countries).

Which leaves the last participant: the audience. The public who have paid the price of admission. Without them, the show won’t go on.

Oh, and the ring master could use more audience participation.

#38 marvellian on 04.04.09 at 7:29 am

I’m just a newbee. Garth, I read your great book After the crush but still confused with my situation. I have a semi 3 BR finished bsmt and paid almost 3/4 of the equity (250K in 2003) in Scarbough. Planning to sell and rent for three to four years and use the gained money to buy bigger house (4br) in markham – hoping prices will conitinue to fall. You think it’s better to rent $500 more and drive 20 km more than my situation today
having $500 going to my principal every month. Can any one of you guys suggest or comment on this.

#39 ally ally oxycontin free on 04.04.09 at 7:45 am

Another Carney ‘switchback’ from his earlier expectation the Canadian economy would recover [ in turnaround ] by the end of the 2nd quarter 2009—

“The central bank governor now says there’s no question the world economy is falling at the sharpest rate since the Second World War and is in the throes of a crisis in confidence.

Growth, when it comes, will be slow and muted as the world enters a period of clearing away years of spending excesses and the build-up of trillions of dollars of debt.”

Economy worst in half-century, warns Carney

Updated Wed. Apr. 1 2009 4:36 PM ET


#40 Da HK Kid on 04.04.09 at 7:49 am

Robert Barbera, the chief economist of ITG, points out a more disturbing trend: The Labor Department keeps concluding that its initial estimates were too optimistic.

Here are the total job losses reported for recent months, as originally reported and as shown in the latest revisions.

August 2008: Initially 84,000, revised to 175,000
September 2008: Initially 159,000, revised to 321,000
October 2008: Initially 240,000, revised to 380,000
November 2008: Initially 533,000, revised to 597,000
December 2008: Initially 524,000, revised to 681,000
January 2009: Initially 598,000, revised to 655,000
February 2009: Initially 651,000, as released today.

On average, from August through January, the first estimate was too optimistic by 112,000 jobs.

#41 kc on 04.04.09 at 7:52 am

You know… I finally figured it out about Flahrity, and thanks to that pic Garth posted…. take a good look at it… can you trust the words out of a mouth that belongs to a face that looks 70, and by golly, not a single grey hair on his head….. I thought people with that trust me swaggard should at least be showing some silver to the tips…..

#42 pbrasseur on 04.04.09 at 8:00 am

Could be worse, in Spain unemployment could reach 19%!!!


Do you think they say “viva el Euro” in the streets of Madrid these days?

#43 pbrasseur on 04.04.09 at 8:25 am

I’m not one of those gold bug libertarians, I dislike their dogmatism and I don’t believe the economy can be understood via a convenient or simple mathematical model, however I do believe in free markets. In fact I think the market always has its way in the end.

As such I have thought for a long time that the Canadian (Ontarian) auto industry was doomed; for the very good reason that this industry wasn’t built on market demand and opportunity but rather it was built on regulations (mainly the auto pact), on unionization and government support.

I have thought for a long time that industry would end up disappearing; the only question that remained was how would this unfold?

The current crisis is giving us a rather brutal answer.

Sure some car building will still happen in Ontario, but make no mistake about it: the erosion will continue because from a free market stand point it makes no sense to build cars in Canada, at least not until you can replace all those workers by robots, and even then…

Canada will have to grow on its other strengths and fortunately it has many.

#44 Herb on 04.04.09 at 8:32 am

“… economic recovery will require incomes to improve, giving Americans the spending power to consume, thus creating jobs that generate more wages — an upward spiral. For now, that dynamic is working in reverse …”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/business/economy/04jobs.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=todayspaper (quote on second page)

Why am I being reminded of Reagonomics? Billions/trillions are being fed to the top of the financial/economic food chain in the expectation that this will trickle down to the lower orders and invigorate all economic life. It’s ass backwards, but the higher orders will be just fine.

#45 Jon C. Coates on 04.04.09 at 8:48 am

Chrysler is a dead man walking. It was bought by a group of corporate raiders whose intentions had absolutely nothing to do with building automobiles. Their aim was to merge, spin off and profit from financial, not production, manipulation. The financial world would improve if these investors were to lose their stake in Chrysler and fail. This would go a long way to improve the world’s financial DNA.
The poor Chrysler workers are little more than hostages in the machinations of these financial sharks from Cerberus.

#46 Herb on 04.04.09 at 9:03 am

“What the Obama administration is doing is far worse than nationalization: it is ersatz capitalism, the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses.”

Brought forward from the link at TrueGritCalgary’s #69 in the last thread, emphasis added. It doesn’t matter what measures are taken by government/s, that is what it is all about.

#47 ally ally oxycontin free on 04.04.09 at 9:04 am

Jim Flaherty reads kids Economic Forecast bedtime story


Harper’s tell-tale tardiness affliction


#48 ally ally oxycontin free on 04.04.09 at 9:35 am

#45 Jon C. Coates on 04.04.09 at 8:48 am

Fiat Chrysler Merger Officially Confirmed – 35% initial stake


Idled Chrysler plants to restart

Judge orders release of parts held by supplier in a dispute that hit Brampton and Windsor—Apr 04 ‘09


VIDEO: Brampton Chrysler plant idled–Morale [ ??? ]

After a Canadian auto parts plant stopped shipping parts, Chrysler vehicle assembly workers in Brampton were sent home Thursday morning. The delay is not expected to be lengthy but a new source for the parts needs to come online. Video by Richard Lautens (April 2, 2009)

All remaining employees at Chatham truckmaker given layoff notices– [ Navistar ]


“Last year, rival Sterling Truck in St. Thomas, Ont. announced the closing of its factory, cutting about 2,000 jobs.”

#49 patriotz on 04.04.09 at 9:50 am

31 Da HK Kid:

They were singing that Rich Asian song back in 1981 too and it’s sounding a bit dated this time around. If the Chinese have so much money to throw around how come their own RE markets are down 50% and their stock markets are down 75%?

The fact is that the Chinese aren’t going to save our RE market any more than we are going to save theirs.

#50 David Bakody on 04.04.09 at 9:55 am

Bang On Garth ….. and old WW II vet and long time political man told me I was right on about the new world order this morning at Tims. Another gentlemen a retire company Jr. executive (large Canadian) mentioned that he heard of a large company that pulled a fire drill and when all were outside and counted the CEO announced that a large amount of layoffs has just taken place and the security passes have been updated and only those with valid passes/jobs will be allowed back into the building ….. their personal belonging will be delivered to the front desk by security people. True ? I believe him because many companies are worried sick about just how fast info could be sent electronically and those who may even have a just in case file (s) ready. New World Order ladies and gentlemen and these front office people are smarter than the average bear. And as Garth pointed out many government people have been selected to do the dirty work for future Mike Duffy type considerations! So hang on the Canadian band wagon en route to the back hole has not yet gotten up to speed.

Received an e-mail this week from a dear old friend still working in a once very prosperous Ontario Manufacturing hub …. and she stated she never has seen things so bad!

Also received a call from HK and it was mentioned to me you can eat off the floors in the Beijing Air Port as the workers are on their hands and knees cleaning 24/7 and they are all thankful for work that is less than minimum wage here. Do y’all really think we can compete with that? One point six billion people ready and willing to take up the slack ….. no that’s competition!

#51 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.04.09 at 10:00 am

#31 Da HK Kid

A Richmond Realtor confirmed last night, at the jammed packed River Rock Casino no less…”full price offers and no drop in RE prices this spring in Richmond”.

It’s what I’ve been suggesting consistently on this blog site…some appreciate NVCjr’s RE #101’s logic, others prefer to ridicule.

Here is your’s, reposted….

“””….. Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese are on tour right now picking up properties left coast Vancouver down to Cali.

There are two very distinct factors WHY they are buying RE anyhow, for most it’s a spit in the bucket compared to the cost of RE in the HKSAR or PRC. Two, as you may know they are buying for long term, meaning next generation and all the benefits associated such as nice climate, low pollution and schooling.

The Third reason quite simply is that prices are coming down and the HKD and RMB are valued by about 10-15% better than the CAD as both peg to USD so they are double dipping. Same goes for AUS but still hoping for deflation to take their ridiculous housing bubble down as its now the most unaffordable housing in the world, VAN was up there too but not for long.

One solution for the US especially in California to repair its unhealthy RE market is to stop printing credit cards and start printing green cards as the Asian population will gladly assist to finding a bottom there.

Furthermore, most who purchase homes in Vancouver will have less immigration issues and last I heard price of entry was around $300K CAD investment (RE included).

These houses are typically paid for by cash and the income earned outside of Canada such as HK at 15% max while mom and children and maybe grandma live nicely in VAN.
Good Ruck!”””

#52 Bottoms_Up on 04.04.09 at 10:01 am

From #23
“…out of 10,000 sperm, I can’t believe you were the quickest!”
Actually it’s closer to 1/100,000,000

#53 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.04.09 at 10:17 am

Part #2….North Van & West Van…

Expat Tehran Iranians continue to congregate on the North Shore…which began in the 1970’s.

A smaller population of Mumbai Zorastrians began centralizing right here in Central Lonsdale, North Vancouver, about 10 years ago.

Their spiritual leader, now deceased, believed Central Lonsdale was the safest place on Earth.

…today Shiamak Davar, (the Bollywood Dance Choreographer), is their spiritual leader….google S D.

I kid you not, you heard it here first.

…confirmation by anyone here is appreciated, because for some reason, long term vancouver renters remain skeptical of my postings.


#54 Dan on 04.04.09 at 10:17 am

Chrysler Canada get out of Canada now! I know a couple of buddies who work at Chrysler and they HOPE that Chrysler would close the plants and leave. These financial sharks from Cerberus are the worst of the worst and manipulate their workers , supliars and just about anyone to make a dollar. Canada doesn’t need an evil corporation like chrysler. CHRYSLER GET OUT OF CANADA WE DARE YOU. PLEASE JUST GET OUT WE HATE YOU!

#55 TUT on 04.04.09 at 10:20 am

North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

Thank you for being the best clown in this circus!

#56 TUT on 04.04.09 at 10:26 am

#12 bobs your uncle
“I am surprised there isn’t a bloody revolution.”

Not a chance unless we stop barking with a keyboard in our living rooms.

#57 Irene on 04.04.09 at 10:36 am

The problem with Flaherty and his boss Stevie, they are both asleep at the switch. They have been since day one. I can’t believe that we have not seen a revolution in Ottawa by now. I guess we are not hungry enough yet. These two have to go pronto while we still have a litle left to save. Time to bring back the consequences of being a traitor. Remember what used to be done to traitors?

DELETED. Get a grip, Irene. Anyone who goes into public life and puts up with the crap deserves some respect. Even if they confuse power with principle. There are ways of ridding them. Yours is not one. — Garth

#58 Future Expatriate on 04.04.09 at 10:48 am

#28- just a suggestion for laid off lumberjacks. Learn to make Danish Mid-Modern solid (for the most part) wood furniture and market it on the web. Demand is rising among the young, the old stuff is hard to find and increasingly expensive as it’s snapped up by collectors, and it’s not likely to be as quickly copied and knocked off in China. Particle board and mdf is poison.

Should tie most folks over until construction picks up, and might end up being a lifetime creative pursuit, and hey, it’s wood and tools.

Good luck.

#59 squidly77 on 04.04.09 at 10:50 am

cerberus..a multi headed beast thats half serpant and half man who guards the gates of hell

#60 Kash is King on 04.04.09 at 11:07 am

Wow. I mean WOW! Want the real story in a nutshell? Want to understand what’s REALLY going on?

Here’s a link to PBS’s Bill Moyer interviewing William K. Black author of “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One”, and former senior regulator during the S&L crisis of the 1980’s.


You will not see this type of insite in the MSM at all.

Folks, this is bigger than Watergate. What’s going on is mammoth and truly historical. You will never forget these current events as long as you live.

#61 Irene on 04.04.09 at 11:28 am

DELETED. Get a grip, Irene. Anyone who goes into public life and puts up with the crap deserves some respect. Even if they confuse power with principle. There are ways of ridding them. Yours is not one. — Garth

Sorry Garth but its hard to get a grip when you see your friends and family losing their jobs with no chance at finding an other. My family live on Vancouver Island where the forest Industry have lost all their mills, where people have worked and depended on this Industry for a living. These families have young children, some entering Universites which is pricy especially when they have to go to other cities to do so,only jobs available are Tim Hortons, MAcDonals and that’s about it. THey don’t have a lot of options and with those kooks at the wheel, they have nowhere to go. The COns say they will give an extra 5 weeks on U I and training but what do they do for food, heat etc while the training is going on. What about the self employed who are in the process of losing their business that they grew up with from their familes. You give them that advice and see where you get. you see Garth, they don’t qualify for UI.The other ways of ridding them is for the opposition to grow a backbone but they rather sit back and do nothing. Canadians need a chance to have their say and we are not getting it. And Garth. to have respect they have to be capable of showing some themselves which they are not. It is pretty hard to respect JIM and Stevie the wanna be Canada’s Obama. And Garth, I do respect you but remember that you and I lived in the good times so we are not suffering like they are. We raised our children in the good times and they have to raise theirs in the bad times which we are in now. If you thought my post should be deleted, so be it. I am probably stating what a lot of people are feeling.

Have a good weekend

#62 colette on 04.04.09 at 11:55 am

I cannot believe the crap that comes out of our top leaders. What they might intend as words that will calm the electorate and the markets or lull other countries of Canada’s safety and worthiness are really just a reflection of how out of touch they really are.

Recession? What recession things are great, our forefathers withstood much tougher than us…is totally not only an insult to everyone who is waiting for EI, worrying about buying food for their family and paying their heat and just keeping their home…but it is also ludicrous to even compare the times now with the past.

As Garth correctly points out in the past people were more self sufficient, more living in the rural areas, neighbours helped eachother, families lived, worked, together and all were less dependent on the modern world that we have evolved to where if you need milk or eggs you go to the store, water is brought to you by the pipes that you have no control over, garbage is taken away and disposed by outside forces…and in the past a shut down of the electrical grid would not put life as we know it on full stop.

Further these idiots don’t seem to understand that there is another dimension to the whole ball of wax that has nothing to do with food, shelter, money and that is faith, hope, self worth. With all the jobs going and many for good how are the people going to have faith that the system will recover? That they will work again, that their equity will recover, with no hope and little self worth in themselves that they are contributing to not only their family but to society what kind of future can we hope to have with a bunch of broken people?

#63 rory on 04.04.09 at 12:07 pm

to #36 miketheengineer – sheesh Mike

From today’s Globe and Mail:
“What’s less certain is the mix, which has direct consequences for the Canadian auto industry. More than 80 per cent of the cars built here are exported to the U.S., and the vehicles produced at Ford, Chrysler and GM plants in Ontario are mostly big ones. What’s more, though the major Detroit companies’ share of U.S. car sales has fallen below 50 per cent, they still account for about 60 per cent of the cars produced in Canada”

I think this pretty much says that a made in Canada solution you suggested will not work the way the industry is structured today.

Plus we haven’t tackled issues like NAFTA, unions, Honda, Toyota, Ford, unfair advantage, gov’t intervention, taxpayers $$ and the nasty one – ability to make money.

Gov’ts should NOT be in business.

We need better ideas not the same old gov’t/taxpayers will/should look after us. If the idea is good then companies/people will buy the plants and do something good with them.

Mike, hopefully you are a good engineer.

Avro Arrow was the jet.

P.S. – sorry for blasting but we Canadians gotta get off this gov’t will fix everything habit. It’s bad for business. Responsibility people.

#64 PTDBD on 04.04.09 at 12:07 pm

Samantha – an evocative description of The Big Top three ring financial circus. I enjoyed that.

#65 hagbard on 04.04.09 at 12:09 pm

#43 pbrasseur – Since when do libertarian believe in mathematical models?

#66 David Bakody on 04.04.09 at 12:11 pm

#61 Irene on 04.04.09 at 11:28 am

Irene, this is exactly what you and thousands of others have been told for years ….. search and ask questions and get out and vote. If the Canadian voter had done his/her homework and taken the time to vote things would have been much different. Harper & Co spent all our savings in record time banking on future profits from ill conceived projects that not one single minded person would advise his own family to do and let 36% who took time to vote give him a mandate to continue ….. so who is to blame? Speak up now and organize your thought and get the vote out! The pen is mightier than the sword and in this case an “X” in the ballot box against Harper & Co will send them packing.

#67 kitchener1 on 04.04.09 at 12:14 pm

Chrsyler is done in Canada, they won;t make it until June 1st. The deal with Fiat is only a “global framework” Fiat wants in to the NA market but wants nothing to do with the liabilites of healthcare/employees etc..
Brampton will become the new Oshawa.

GM will go bankrupt, no dout about it. Why do you think that Obama has nationalized car warrenties.

This is turning into a game of hot potatoes and politics.
The car makers want to deflect responsbility by blaming their failure on Washington’s inaction. Washington is trying to by time and public support so that they do not look like the bad guys.

In the end everyone is just trying to save face, the Obama adminstration along with Harpers will justify the bailout money being wasted by saying they did everything they can. At the end it will be the taxpayers that will pay the cost.

I would love to have see how Regan would have dealt with this.

#68 highway61 on 04.04.09 at 12:20 pm

calgary RE
“dream within reach”

#69 rory on 04.04.09 at 12:23 pm

Irene, hello …the gov’t does not owe you or your kids a living. You were lured to sleep because of the good times. Ever heard the words “Ghost Town” before. When in a one horse town the possibilities are always there

I am not in the forest business but I did witness technology at work – 4 logging trucks, hauling huge loads are kept busy by 5 guys in the bush. Your own industries efficiencies helped kill your jobs and the markets killed the rest. Again, responsibility people.

As to the ‘kooks at the wheel” comment …pls enlighten me as to what you would do besides hand out my tax money to support an unsustainable life in small town paradise.

I am all for Entrepreneurship …the problem with that one is you also have to have a product that makes money. Try this option instead and you do not need a University education for it.

Rant over for the day.

#70 Got A Watch on 04.04.09 at 12:30 pm

I would not be too concerned about ‘Dim Jim’ and Stevie ‘The Economist’. They won’t be around as Government for long.

When an economy goes bad, the Government in power at the time always gets the blame. In this case, that is the CONservatives, and you can feel the public anger rising against them by the day.

Stevie even alluded to his yesterday, he knows he will lose the next election. They will try to cling to power as long as possible, which suits the Opposition just fine. The longer they can stay out of power as the economy goes south, the better the result in the next eventual election, and they get the perfect out “it’s not our fault!”.

Prediction: Ignatieff will win a majority next election, and the CON servatives will be looking like they were post Kim Campbell. Wipe out city.

Not that Ignatieff could or would do any better, but the odds seem low that he would be any worse than ‘The Economist’, who has been dismally incompetent so far.

Sad days for real Conservatives, but if we are ever to get a real right-leaning Conservative Party, not the faux neo-Liberal garbage we have now, we need to sweep aside all the present so-called Conservatives, who act more like Liberals in blue jackets in real life.

Good riddance to Stevie and ‘Dim’ Jim. You won’t be missed. Losers.

btw I have always voted CONservative, and got nothing for it. Nowadays, I’m not prejudiced, I hate both Lieberals and CONservatives equally. A pox on both their houses. And the Greens and NDP, I hate ’em all.

One thing I have to note. In Canada, it seems it is usually the CONservatives who mess up the budget big time, and then Lieberals have to come in and clean up the mess. Totally counter-intuitive, but that is how it seems to work. What an upside down set of politicians we have, it should be the other way around, you would think.

You know it’s bad when Jean Chretien seems like a great statesman compared to the current crop. But judging him on job performance alone, he was.

#71 rory on 04.04.09 at 1:09 pm

Sorry all …one more rant.

Victomology (from dictionary.com): the study of crime victims and the psychological effects of being a victim.

Victomology (from Rory): it was everyone else’s fault.

The only criminals (not all cases) are ourselves. We did this to us.

Get over it and move on. Responsibility, people.

#72 Third Chimp on 04.04.09 at 1:22 pm

Hey David #66
I truly wish that a good voter turnout would help – but you have to realize that our archaic first-past-the-post voting system cannot produce responsible, fair government once there are more than two parties. FPTP creates voter apathy, dictatorial minorities and deflects the wishes of the majority. Garth – do you have a comment on this from your experiences ?

#73 dd on 04.04.09 at 1:47 pm

#59 squidly77

Squidly makes a comeback. Where have you been?

#74 rory on 04.04.09 at 1:48 pm

I am fascinated by the negatives against Harper & Company (re: victomology) …we should be outraged at ourselves.

If any one thinks we would be better off or things would be different if the Liberals were in power you need to give your heads a shake. There is no difference. Heck even if the NDP were in power the only difference would be more debt. No one really has a clue. They are good people (for the most part) in untenable situations. And they are politicians – what the heck do you expect them to say.

As to getting out and voting – absolutely (yes to David B). Voting for and against policies like 1% GST because it sounds good was shallow, but we are shallow. We need real activism to address real issues to motivate real changes. We need to pay attention and not be so self absorbed.

Garth’s new book, Sheeple, will talk a lot about the inside of gov’t but I hope it also includes that we the people are just a bigger herd of sheeple (that falls asleep at the switch, a lot).

Can’t you just feel the pull of that ring in your nose? You, the people, want change then get off our collective assess and do something about it. And violence is not the “do something” I am suggesting.

We need to change the very idea of what a politician and the people who vote for them are supposed to stand for… remember, we get the govt’s we deserve and vote for.

Hey “got a watch & 3rd chimp” …I had already prepared this before I read yours …this is pretty much along the same lines.

#75 taxpayer like you on 04.04.09 at 1:51 pm

Rory: for your responses to Miketheengineer amd Irene.

I couldnt have said it better myself. So I wont.

Mike, so you dont feel too bad – I have an engineering

Irene – so you dont feel too bad – I have worked in BCs forest industry, plus have 2 BILs that have worked in it (1 still does) and neighbours on each side of me (1 still does).

Good luck to both of you.

#76 ralph on 04.04.09 at 2:31 pm


I would think that voter apathy works in the government’s favor. A low voter turnout almost guarantees the returning government to power. What do you think?

#77 rory on 04.04.09 at 2:34 pm

Hi all …no rant but some interesting facts for all those that believe in the theory of regression to the mean. I do, but I also believe it is preventable, but only to a certain degree.

Goggle ‘CIA Factbook’.

Life expectancy at birth:
Canada – 81.23 years
World – 66.26 years
Off the cuff comment #1: No retirement income – no problem as you will only have a 1.26 years retirement on average. This stat is for both sexes. Males only get 64.3 years …so men you really do not have a retirement problem.

GDP per capita (PPP):
Canada – $39, 300
World – $10,500
Off the cuff comment #2: Wow – tough to sell $30,000 chevy’s …hello $2,500 Tata Nano.

The only place Canada has to go is down unless we do something that lets us preserve our ‘way of life’ – whatever that is? All I know living on gov’t handouts is not one of those options if we want to stay ahead.

#78 Grumpydawgs on 04.04.09 at 2:57 pm

The solution to the lack of auto sales is simple, cut the price of auto’s back to pre bubble. Deflate the auto bubble the same way the house price bubble is deflating. The auto companies used cheap financing to increase the price of thier cars, so it’s time to take it back.

House inflation doubled during the time of artificial economics by manipulated low intrest rates, so did auto’s. It was al based on payments , nothing to do with cost of production or value, the profits were extreme. The unions were like eveyone else, pigs in the trough. Like every other ponzi scheme, they ran out of peopel who could afford the increased costs. Car loans have become as agregious as mortgages.

The Indians are building a car for $2500 CDN and orders are expected to top 500,000 in the first year of production. Why should we not have the same product here. Because ‘we owe’ the line workers at Windsor a living? Thats just crazy.

Auto assembly workers are no more skilled than a jam jar production worker is. The cost of these products is what is stopping people from buying them . Not as the Union boss said ” an inability to finance them” that statement is totally off base. They reached the apex in pricing and now sales have fallen off a cliff, NO DUH?

It’s time to put the auto industry back on track through CCAA reorganization and rebuild the industry from the ground up and get product out the door at prices people can afford.

#79 Third Chimp on 04.04.09 at 3:00 pm

Footnote for #70 Got a Watch:
Conservatives are indeed bad economic managers – its generally true, not because they don’t understand money, but because they tend towards policies that are good for capital and bad for people. Running an economy is *NOT* the same as running a business.

#80 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 04.04.09 at 3:09 pm


While most everybody would agree we have to take responsibility for our actions and inactions, after watching

#60 Kash is King ‘s link to the Bill Moyer interview with William Black

please don’t point the finger at everyone and say its our own fault. When you sweep up all the savers and prudent people and put them in the same basket with the banksters and debt fuelled uber-consumers, your rant loses any meaning.

With regards to your comments for Irene: people like Irene are expressing their rage and hurt about their own personal experiences. Not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepeneur. Someone has to fell trees. Its not a cushy or easy way of life and we should respect the people in resource industries who helped build most Canadian wealth. Times have changed, but turn down the “blame yourself” bit.

#81 Grantmi on 04.04.09 at 3:10 pm

#25 Fool me once
I’m curious how much influence is put on the media by the last advertising customers using Radio, TV and the papers…….

You’re correct FOOLME!! I’ve been noticing CKNW here in Vancouver putting out real estate public notice announcements – “Saying what a great time to buy a home due to the Demographics of Vancouver and the lowest interest rates EVER!”

There was NO company attached to these ads! Just “Courtesy of CORUS!!!”

What does that tell you! They are desperate for this market in banks and real estate to turn around for their ad money! They running their own public service announcements! Desperation setting in!

“Move along… nothing to see here!”

#82 Foreign Investor on 04.04.09 at 3:17 pm

Grumpy Dawgs – # 78

You are right on the money. It is going to happen.

It does not matter how much the unions whine or how much the governments try and protect them and the high cost manufacturing facilities in place we are moving towards a distribution of production that will take advantage of cost. This crisis is making that transparent.

If you are more expensive you better have some authority in your back pocket. Increasingly though Blogs such as this will “call them out.”

If we want to be successful and keep our standard of living in N.A. we need to invent.

#83 David on 04.04.09 at 3:44 pm

Remember the famous quotation “All of us are strong enough to endure the hardships of others”. Flaherty belongs to that group. Pretty easy for him to say this is “technical recession” and the circa 2006 real estate bubble false prosperity awaits us just around the corner.
Job layoffs, declining pension values and diminishing job prospects all constitute a minor recession. Heaven forbid that there will be a major deflationary recession!
Jim has it right. Compared to starving 19th century Irish peasants coming to Canada with consumption and small pox, we have it great.
My father talked about poverty amidst plenty and Bennett buggies and foraging for food. All those hard lessons were forgotten.

#84 Irene on 04.04.09 at 4:16 pm

Speak up now and organize your thought and get the vote out! The pen is mightier than the sword and in this case an “X” in the ballot box against Harper & Co will send them packing. Thanks for the logic words David but this is not logic times.

David that is exactly what I talked about. Give Canadians a chance to go out and vote now while there is still something to save. For the Opposition parties, you know what to do. We have all been calling for a chance for our voices to be heard but it looks useless. We speak to deaf ears. The budget that was excepted by the Liberals was bad, and a great chance to put the Cons on notice to do something or suffer the consequences would be very helpful. And Rory, it is pretty hard to preserve your way of life in 2009 so go ahead and inflate your ego. We need the means and a solution now, not later.

My biggest beef is that the Cons have totally ignored the Forest Industry work force in BC. We hear a little about that from Ontario and Quebec but what about the coastal workers? They pay there fair share of tax dollars and should be given a chance to save this Industry.

#85 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 04.04.09 at 4:29 pm

China, Russia and a few others recently called for a single global currency, and maybe this is it — from the G20 last week, a single paragraph which hasn’t had much airplay.

Certainly, a single, central govt., controlling a single world currency is what the NWO wants. — http://tinyurl.com/dxbcn6

This may be one of the reasons why the preceding is quietly being put in place. — http://tinyurl.com/d9xzre

#86 Reg on 04.04.09 at 4:40 pm

#5 Suzukimum on 04.03.09 at 9:31 pm

He does not look like one of the 3 stooges. He could certainly pass for a near twin of Lou Costello though. As well, if you have read any biography of Lou Costello, he wasn’t the most intelligent person with finances. So, they do have that in common as well.

This is just another example of why we need to change our electoral process.

Many, many people are truly terrified for their jobs and futures, and this joker is telling people not to worry, this is minor. Let me guess… he’s a lawyer.

Know how to tell when a lawyer is lying? Their lips are moving.

#87 dekethegeek on 04.04.09 at 5:10 pm

North Van Citizen Jr’s Analyst ! Where are you when we NEED you ?
North Van Citizen Jr’s rants are hilarious but the lynch mob is growing restless. Time to invent a “new nom de plume” mes amis.
Keep shouting your message from “The Lions” . Some day you may be recognized as a wise sage or a complete lunatic, but hey! savants have to start somewhere.
Missing your “Souf Effrikken” banter( or is that Bantu?)

#88 Dan in Victoria on 04.04.09 at 5:25 pm

Post#61 Irene,I don’t think a lot of people other than the wood products industry workers understand what has happened to the forest industry.Like I said in my earlier post,I hope that our fellow country men and women don’t end up suffering like our friends and families,when their job losses are permanent.

#89 MenWithHats on 04.04.09 at 6:22 pm

Oh,thank God !
Flaherty declares worldwide monetary breakdown a mild one .
Please tell that to the hundreds of thousands of hard working Canadians, tossed onto the scrap heap of the unemployed .
Stupid little leprechaun .

#90 rory on 04.04.09 at 6:35 pm

Hi all …I just cannot get enough today.

#84 Irene said:
“And Rory, it is pretty hard to preserve your way of life in 2009 so go ahead and inflate your ego. We need the means and a solution now, not later”.

Irene, the auto & forestry industry have seen the writing on the walls for years but no one did anything including a lot of people that do not want to change. You see no evil, hear no evil, pretend it is not happening kinda things evil.

Preserve what – small towns with big town wages that are uneconomic. Like Microsoft is going to build a facility to employ loggers or companies will build so they can lose money every year. So what solution do you expect except handouts. You should feel fortunate that you were able to live the good life for as long as you did in your locale.

Change happens, that is a constant. One needs to embrace change; that is move to find work, get an education or re-education, save, pay down debt, etc.

As to your immediate “preserve” solution for 2009 – well that would be YOUR emergency fund and your ability to reduce costs, carrying no debt, to work at Timmy’s, get student loans, and start planning new future. This are things that were/are controllable by you.

And yes being unemployed with no prospects sucks …but being debt ridden with no prospects and poor sucks even more. I do have a soft spot. I call it ‘tough love’.

P.S. – I don’t really get the ego part in your comment.

# 80 Canned Goods and Buckshot…

Hi ,,,I agree not everyone can be an entrepreneur in the typical sense, but you need to be an entrepreneur in life, in the sense that you individually are responsible for ensuring the success of your life. Entrepreneurs make things happen, they change, they adapt, they are innovative. People need to be these things regardless of how they make their money – owing your own business or forestry worker. I guess I am saying you need to be proactive vs reactive. We all got lulled into it by things being so good for so long.

As to clumping everyone in the same pot, the prudent and not so prudent, both groups will ultimately suffer the same fate – higher taxes, lower standard of living, less security, etc. The only real difference between the two groups, one will sleep better than the other.

The gov’t is screwing everyone equally (elites and bankers excluded) … so yes all of us need to take action – the prudent & not so prudent. …so the rant to all is okay …IMO :)

Have good days people!

#91 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.04.09 at 7:10 pm

Recap…Garth’s blog site provides sound business and lifestyle alternatives for his flock.

…Mainstream media do not accept his critique of them.

NVC jr. provides complimentary, sound business and lifestyle alternatives for Garth’s flock.

Certain members of Garth’s flock prefer to criticize others….because it makes them feel better about themselves rather than do something constructive.

NVC jr plans remain steadfast… as Canada’s Finance Minister in the next govt. led by Garth, NVC jr will provide real fiscal integrity for all Canadians, even the ones in Quebec…those perpetual griping sons of a guns.

#92 vicguy on 04.04.09 at 7:16 pm

There is not much doubt that Mr. Harper and Mr. Flaherty have not caused the deep recession our country is in. However, they seem to have been the only people in Canada early last Fall, who denied that we were in it and are still claiming that the crisis in Canada is a mild one and we will be soon out of it. They are either liars, or at least incompetent, possibly both. The little credibility they had left after their desperate manouvers following the infamous late Fall mini budget has rapidly evaporated and at this point another election, inspite of a hefty cost would be in order. These clowns are not capable of leading the country through possibly the most difficult period in it’s history. If only the Liberals had the guts.

#93 Live Within Your Means on 04.04.09 at 7:25 pm

#58 Future Expatriate on 04.04.09 at 10:48 am
#28- just a suggestion for laid off lumberjacks. Learn to make Danish Mid-Modern solid (for the most part) wood furniture and market it on the web. Demand is rising among the young, the old stuff is hard to find and increasingly expensive as it’s snapped up by collectors, and it’s not likely to be as quickly copied and knocked off in China. Particle board and mdf is poison.

Should tie most folks over until construction picks up, and might end up being a lifetime creative pursuit, and hey, it’s wood and tools.

Good luck.

No sure if I’m replying to #28 or #58, but assume the latter. Yep agree. Instead of the cheap crap furniture sold in most of the stores, design & build some decent stuff. We couldn’t find any, other than what I mentioned, or country style. We bid on Ebay & bought some 60’s Danish teak. Half the price, incl. shipping, than the garbage found today in the big box stores. Hard to find anything of quality today in most stores.

#94 Da HK Kid on 04.04.09 at 7:33 pm

#51 NVCJ, what I posted was for the new poster #3’s question only to add some suggestion on why and what to do. Nothing new here!

While I believe this is the Asian (specifically Chinese) dynamic, it would never be enough to stop the bleeding in any western market now and especially in the future.

Asia will recover much more quickly than the western world one way or another with much higher tax benefiting returns.

Sorry bro, Vancouver will just be Vancouver in the future but with a greater Asian population and affordable prices.

Stimulus = Protectionism

ASEAN countries will take care of themselves.

#95 john m on 04.04.09 at 7:51 pm

90 rory on 04.04.09 at 6:35 pm ……….right on Rory,no one is immune ,we haven’t even touched on whats coming.When the shit hits the fan…and i think it will,people that have been tolerant of the bullshit (will say enough is enough).IMO

#96 prairie gal on 04.04.09 at 7:55 pm

“Sorry Garth but its hard to get a grip when you see your friends and family losing their jobs with no chance at finding an other. My family live on Vancouver Island where the forest Industry have lost all their mills, where people have worked and depended on this Industry for a living….”

Irene, I understand your pain but I fail to see how this is the government’s fault or even its responsibility. The fact is simply that the demand for lumber was in a bubble as it followed the US housing bubble. A lot of Vancouver Island trees were felled to feed this bubble.

That pace was simply unsustainable. There is such a large oversupply in construction that there won’t be much demand for a few years. This is not a local phenomenon so it can’t be resolved by trade.

I’m afraid that your problem can only be solved at a local level as you clearly need to diversify. As individuals and as a community.

#97 Alex on 04.04.09 at 8:36 pm

I was wondering what Garth and other participants of this site think about so called protectionism. I mean, MSNBC is
always is so pro-free-trade ( Kudlow comes to mind).
I feel that goverment is run by large corporations who obviously have means (read bribes in all sort of forms) to push their free-trade agenda. Of course it is cheaper for corporations to produce in China and sell it here instead of giving job to Canadians. This way corporations push problem to lower levels which basically means canadian workers who produce goods have to compete with chinese (minus trans ocean delivery of goods) workers and corporations wash their hands.
If rather sooner then later government doesn’t impose taxes on import goods from other coutries to protect their own citizens (from misery) then I don’t see how
those citizens can support such an expensive RE and all
goodies that developed capitalist country can offer.
I mean just think about it 1.6 billioon chinese are willing to work virtually for food and we have to copmpete with them? Why media doesn’t discuss this ( is it because it is owned by corporations?). In the long run THAT is a question of paramount importance. In the end if corporations get it their way ( which I feel is happening )
then country will fall into 3rd world category as poverty brings crime and rich will leave it. Isn’t goverment is a body that chosen by citizens to protect their interests?
I feel that goverment runs its day to day operations by pushing laws written by corporations.
Garth thank you for your blog but please is there any way you could broaden discussion as I feel you are a smart man and your blog mainly discusses RE which is secondary.
Thank you .
P.S. If you ever run for PM I would vote for you. Thank you dear citizen of great country.

#98 gold bug on 04.04.09 at 8:39 pm

Rory, I’m with you that we shouldn’t be bailing out dying industries, but that doesn’t absolve the government of blame.

The government meddles and meddles and meddles some more. Until economies are distorted beyond all reason. There is plenty of blame to be levied at politicians.

But the answer is to have LESS government, not MORE government, which is (I think) where Rory and Irene differ.

Re Garth’s defence of his former cronies: Nobody asked Harper and Flaherty or any other hack in any political party to make a career of being a parasite. They can leave any time now and Canada will not be worse off. Quite the opposite.

And libertarians make an explicit point of rejecting most mathematics-based econometrics, because most of it is self-serving, backwards-justifying voodoo employed by Harvard and Yale world-improvers who don’t have enough real-world savvy to operate a profitable lemonaide stand.

Most libertarians recognize that economics is a lot more organic, and that much of what Hayek calls “catallactics” happens on a meta level that is immeasurable, yet nonetheless real, significant and impactful.

The folly of most politicians is that they think their big brains can help solve any problem, if only they select the right mathematical model. St. Obama is proving that right now.

#99 nonplused on 04.04.09 at 9:16 pm

Ha ha, that’s funny! Economic crisis solved! We’re all going to hand build custom furniture and sell it to each other! Wow, that was easy.

Keep your fingers out of the blades, folks. And don’t be too optimistic about revenues, as even professional cabinet makers are having themselves a nasty recession, and they know what they are doing!

#100 CTM on 04.04.09 at 9:52 pm


You’re really ripping it up man.

Keep it up.


#101 dd on 04.04.09 at 10:04 pm

#91 North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

… NVC jr. provides complimentary, sound business and lifestyle alternatives for Garth’s flock… led by Garth, NVC jr will provide real fiscal integrity for all Canadians…

Oh you are good. With your throughts about the Vancouver real estate market you may not be the first person I would want as finance Minister. Original throughts are great … but you follow the Vancouver herd.

#102 ally ally oxycontin free on 04.04.09 at 10:06 pm

Summers: Sense of ‘Freefall’ Should Dissipate


“It now appears fairly clear that the economy is going to be losing jobs at a substantial rate for some months to come,” Summers said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. (See the video of the interview at right.)


Nationally, Home Price Declines Closed Out 2008 with Record Lows According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices

“Looking at the data from peak-thru-December 2008, Dallas is down a relatively mild 8.6% from its peak in June 2007, while Phoenix is down 45.5% from its peak in June of 2006. The rates of decline from the individual heights of each market are evidence of how much each market has taken back in terms of the gains earned in the past 10-15 years. Eighteen of the 20 metro areas are in double digit declines from their peaks, with half of the MSA’s posting declines of greater than 20% and four of those (Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco) in excess of 40%.”


#103 dd on 04.04.09 at 10:10 pm

#55 TUT

“North Vancouver Citizen Jr. Thank you for being the best clown in this circus!”

Oh it is all too good.

#104 dd on 04.04.09 at 10:15 pm

#88 Dan in Victoria

The industy will come back in BC to some degree (may not on the island). The cronic underfunding of mills will catch up with the industry in 5 years when the world needs 2x4s. Then the industry will be saying … where are all the workers … we need workers.

#105 Heather W on 04.04.09 at 11:18 pm

So, Garth and Dear Readers – Question for you. Given that

1. Many of our traditional sources of information are contracting sharply during this recession, including the publicly owned CBC, and that
2. “The press is owned by so few that there is no independent media anymore (besides the internet). (James Pike #19)

….it seems clear that the the only reliable source of information about daily events and the only independent commentary regarding those events will soon be – perhaps already is – the Internet.

My question is this: Once this historical transition takes place and then the Internet goes down for any of a host of speculative reasons, then what will we do?

We would be left to rely on “The Government, the Advertisers, The MSM, The Vested Intrests etc” (Basil Fawlty #14) – if only they could reach us.


#106 Munch on 04.04.09 at 11:23 pm

Munch is here!

Watching Murrkia implode, and Canada, from afar

Our Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, told us yesterday that the “worst is over”, cozzYcozz he came back from G-20 and they said so there, also! :o)

Cretins, the whole lot of them!

But, hope springs eternal, not so?

(bowing low, lowering eyes, shuffling backwards}

#107 Irene on 04.05.09 at 12:50 am

Parire Gal: I understand your pain but I fail to see how this is the government’s fault or even its responsibility. The fact is simply that the demand for lumber was in a bubble as it followed the US housing bubble. A lot of Vancouver Island trees were felled to feed this

I didn’t say it was the governments fault but right now with the stimulus packages, the forestry industry is totally ignored. Say what you want all of you but I am talking of a city with over 30,000 people. Isn’t that a shame when our government is looking at bailing out the car manufactures but ignore some of the other industries that employed at one time 12 to 14 hundred people and its now totally shut down. They are not asking for hockey arenas or school playground equipment. They just want the government to recognize the situation they are in and maybe a little help in their city. Something to put people back to work. Perhaps stop the raw logs crossing the border, hundreds trucks daily so they can mill it which they have and that has put our mills out of business. Maybe the problem is that the Island is not Conservative land and no votes, I don’t know.

This is the last comment I care to post on this thread. I am merely giving my opinion just like everyone here and if it’s a problem, so be it. Goodbye

#108 Dan in Victoria on 04.05.09 at 1:32 am

Post#96 Prairie gal yes A lot of what you say is true.I tried to get some links together to explain what is going on,but I found the simplest description here,and the link won’t work.Please, Google, sawmills closed in bc,half way down the page you will see bc forest policy march 7 READ pages 4 and 5. I’m not promoting this article it just happens to have some info all in the same place.Pay particular attention to the last paragraph on page 5.

#109 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 04.05.09 at 9:14 am


Glad to see you are showing the ‘dots’ the MSM seems to ignore. Yes! We are all connected to the others. The bakery to the coffee shop, the parts manufacturer to the global giant. Maybe people will now see the issue is not merely about one company, but the hundreds, yes thousands that rely on one another for the life blood of any business…CASH FLOW!

#110 Grantmi on 04.05.09 at 9:44 am


I know you’re a man for Free Speech!

But how much longer do we have to keep reading the rants and incoherent words from NVC Jr.?

The dude is a nut-bar!!!!

#111 kc on 04.05.09 at 1:32 pm

Dan and Irene, (regarding forestry) I too am a person who has/is collected my pay from the once proud trees of the province of BC. Being born into a family of sawmill workers and employers I have seen many times the cycles of chicken today and feathers tomorrow. I watched a small forest dependent town grind to a halt in the early 90’s, then fade away into the sunset. I know of what you speak about, take the top north of V. Isl. that area is hurting bad. the times have changed for years ago the cost of living and the additudes towards life were not thrown out into today’s “credit orgy and I want it now” When that town went down in the 90’s i was forced to walk away from a house that i had bought when the bank said, “time to sell for your payments are way to over due.” However I was able to relocate into another mill town and try again.

today if you are an experienced mill employee, that option of relocation is all but gone for those jobs have gone away. We in the west think that our forestry industry is huge, to a degree yes it is. there is also another forest industry outside that eastern border past Alberta. The problem is however, nothing is being done about the demises in the east, we are in a setting sun industry where only the smartly run companies will continue to survive. I feel strongly that the days of the HUGE ceo infested forest companies are living an extinct IV drip.

You are correct in saying the logs get exported, it is only to keep the mills across the line working for the forests in the states have been turned into parks, and the replanted sections are still regrowing. Look at what is being done here in BC,…. More parks and less TFL’s alloted to cut and replant. I remember the save Clayquete sound fiasco as if were yesterday. ( i lived on the isl.) that was one of the major turning points in the history of these “parks” and was the shining light of things to come… The Goverment feels that hikers who spend $10. to walk in a park will do more for the economy than the mills/and loggers will over the long run. it is that old addage… short term pain for long term gain… what a crock of bullsh!t.

Trees are the only 100% renewable commodity on this planet. they grow back.

there are no easy solutions to the times we are living in and I am afraid to say things in our industry are going to be getting rougher over the next couple years. There is all this talk about how these companies made hay while the sun was shining and now they have to wait it out till the next housing boom across the line. In many ways those statements are true because we as a society have grown accustomed to the live in excess.

Families who felt the ride was going to last forever and overextended themselves (in any industry) are in for lessons that hopefully thier grandchildren will learn from. I learnt back when i was forced to sell in the 90’s that life continues and no-one really gives a flying F. you need to make it on your own and live within what you are doing. Many times on this board I have stated about the forest industry demise. and spoke out that giving auto companies money is just another waste. we have been battleing this same demise for the last 25 years and all the screams of anger fall on deaf ears.

My heart feels the pain of the ones lost in the forests grip. (been there, and still live in the same grip)

when a logger cries in the forest, does anyone hear?

#112 betamax on 04.05.09 at 1:35 pm

“But how much longer do we have to keep reading the rants and incoherent words from NVC Jr.?”

Not a second. See his name at the top, skip post. Simple.

I find him amusing, but tastes differ.

#113 kc on 04.05.09 at 1:38 pm

dan 108 here is a site that collects all forest related news and places into selected catagories. there is a huge section on just shutdowns and layoffs.



#114 Samantha on 04.05.09 at 2:27 pm

#106 Munch – Good one!

Ooohhh yes…the worst is over! Hurray! In fact, one could say it’s all over now. Funny, they didn’t say that. Maybe they’re saving that for later?

Part of what you wrote: “But, hope springs eternal, not so?” This reminds me of a Dutch saying popular during the time of the battle between Spain and The Netherlands that goes something like this:

“Hope is not necessary to persevere.”

Ah yes, as this unfolds my heart is full of perseverance.

#115 Dan in Victoria on 04.05.09 at 7:06 pm

Post 111 KC,Well said, I left the forest industry in 1982 the writing was on the wall then.Whats done is done,we shot ourselves in the foot.It’s over for our age group I just don’t think a lot of the people understand what we are trying to warn them about,people in their 50’s not being able to work at their profession,walking away from homes,not seeing our friends,the empty feelings……and the one memory that has stuck to me for most of my life,my best friends dad not making it back home from a day in the woods.Thanks for the links,some of the towns names brought back some good memories of the places we upgraded.Went back to one town a few years ago to see if my money was still stapled to the wall in the bar,damn bar was gone along with my money oh well thats progress.

#116 kc on 04.05.09 at 10:36 pm

follow up on post 96 and 108…. (if this isn’t the one you wanted let me know)

here is the para that dan wanted you to read… when you say it has nothing to do with the Gov… think again!

taken from: http://www.usw.ca/UserFiles/File/D3%20Images/BC_March08.pdf

The softwood lumber agreement also encourages Canadian companies to export even more raw logs because while lumber is subject to the border tax, logs enter the US duty-free. The Harper-Bush deal also encourages the outflow of Canadian forest companies’ profits — firms are investing in the US to avoid paying the border tax. Firms including West Fraser, Canfor and
Interfor have used their “cash back” from the Harper-Bush deal to buy US sawmills.

#117 nonplused on 04.05.09 at 11:34 pm

#111 kc

You are right that trees grow back, provided its selective logging or replanted.

Clear cut forests do not grow back for decades and decades, and I’m talking about when they finally get small trees.

Clear cutting is out now, but BC sealed its fate in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. There are still great tracts of land with nary a tree on them and the topsoil is now heavily degraded.

My first job out of university was as a project engineer in training on a bridge substructure project in BC. How does this relate? Well, it’s a story. As me and another guy on a project up the road would survey where the piles had to go in the morning (Great fun! Work all day, have super, and then work till the sun went down while the crew drank beer and your boss went fishing with his kids! Go in to construction engineering young folks!), this old guy would come up and chat me up as I worked the total station. (A total station is the electronic form of a transit, at that time it had a computer and laser distancing but no GPS yet. It was still cool, although I think the version I was using is in the trash bin now.)

Anyway, back to the story.

He had been a surveyor most of his working career. Indeed, he still went back to work from time to time. I asked him, “why, at your age?” “Been married 7 times,” he said, “it doesn’t make much sense to put too much money in one place.”

Oh, I’m off the story again. But he was a genuinely interesting guy.

Anyway, he would tell me great stories of his surveying career. He had 2 principle occupations. Pipeline routes, and flagging trees that could be seen from the road. As he put it, “Anything past the flag line went”.

BC is suffering most because all those trees are gone now, and they were never replanted. There isn’t much left to cut cheap. There are still tons, literally tons, of trees, but they are harder to reach, farther from the mill, and smaller.

BC is the Canadian Brazil.

#118 kc on 04.06.09 at 6:55 am

nonplused, i refuse to get into any pissing matches with your observations, however, if you would like to meet in person and we can take a few bush drives and actualy discuss the plight and what has and hasn’t been planted and why and why not these tracts of land were or weren’t. make a new email and send it in here and we can arrange for a drive. BC’s old hayday clear it and not replant were MacBloes blunders. However, road view of a clear cut and replant is green in 7 years and thrives with proper care. my main point was that of all the commodities in the world, only trees are 100% renewable.

#119 Dan in Victoria on 04.06.09 at 11:02 am

Post#118 kc Do you use Viberg boots made in Victoria?(Man they are nice)There was a picture in the store of a logging site in the cowichan valley?It had a perculiar shaped mountain in the back ground,it was all logged off,that was the before picture,go forward 25 or so years and there is the same picture,same spot,showing a new forest.Great example of proper managment.Yes those were the links,the truth is out there for any one who really cares,good luck in the future KC.